Oh, this winter is starting to get to me. It is raining, raining, raining. Alright, this is not quite true. In the morning when I make breakfast it looks like a really nice day, but by the time I’ve finished the clouds are back and it is raining again. The light is dull and grey.

I come from a cold winter country, with thick layers of snow, but I was never this cold in Germany. The houses there are well insulated. In New Zealand insulation is just starting to become more widespread. Old men walk down the road in the middle of winter in shorts and gum boots. Okay, the temperatures are generally above freezing point in Auckland, but they must be measuring it in wind-still corners. There is nothing between here and Antarctica and blasts from the South can freeze the proverbial off a brass monkey.

Thankfully the worst of winter lasts only a month or so. So it should be over soon. My magnolia tree already has buds, the first sign of spring. Hurrah.